Florida’s coral reef set to receive help care of Super Bowl LIV

Rick Sasso and Matthew McKinnon, from MSC Foundation; Rey Martinez,  Super Bowl LVI Host Committee; subject matter experts Chris Langdon,  UM and Richard Dodge from Nova University.

Florida’s coral reef set to receive help care of Super Bowl LIV

Versión en español

In an effort to curtail the damage to coral reefs around the world, a partnership of non-governmental organizations and universities last week launched an awareness campaign dubbed #supercoralplay.

The SuperCoralPlay campaign, with the support of NFL players and the National Football League, will be widely promoted in the days leading up to the Superbowl LIV, which will be played in Miami on February 2.

Scientists predict that 70-90% of coral reefs are in danger of dying out within the next two decades (2030-2050), according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Coral reefs are among the world’s most diverse ecosystems and are home to more than 25 percent of all marine species. They serve as a food resource and protect coastal communities from storms and erosion.

Some 84% of US coral reefs are located within Florida, where coral ecosystem-related spending has been estimated to generate over $6 billion in economic impact in the five South Florida counties, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The SuperCoralPlay campaign is the result of a partnership between MSC Cruises, the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, and 54 NFL players and influencers, such as Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry and broadcaster and retired NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez.

The MSC Foundation, which spearheaded the initiative, is the non-profit foundation established to advance MSC Group’s conservation commitments.

“The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee launched Ocean to Everglades (O2E), the Super Bowl LIV environmental initiative in April to promote sustainability and raise awareness of the critical issues facing the health of the ocean and the Everglades,” said Rodney Barreto, chairman of the Miami Super Bowl host committee.

This special scientific project will see some of the world’s leading experts in marine biology and coral conservation collaborating together, including the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Nova Southeastern University, the Perry Institute for Marine Science, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and The Centre Scientifique de Monaco, among other partners.

The University of Miami and Nova Southeastern have signed on to participate in educational and applied research partnerships for students and faculty in the waters surrounding Ocean Cay, a marine reserve in the Bahamas converted by MSC Cruises into a private marine reserve.

Individuals can get involved in the SuperCoralPlay campaign by purchasing a special edition Super Coral Play bracelet made of abandoned fishing nets to support the research on Ocean Cay.

During the week leading up to the big game, fans are invited to visit the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve installation at Super Bowl LIVE’s Environmental Village from Jan. 25 – Feb. 1, to learn more about the campaign. This experiential space will showcase the work being done on Ocean Cay.

More details can be found online here.

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